The year is nearly over! Whilst this fills me with panic, it does mean that it's time for the most exciting post of the year- my top 15 books of 2015!
I've read exactly 100 books this year (so far), 20 more than my original goal, so it was really hard to pick just 15 of them to mention in this post. There were just so many great books this year! These are the best of the best, the books that truly blew me away and stayed with me ever since I read them. Because I love these books so much, I might not be entirely coherent when I'm talking about them. Sorry about that!
NOTE: If I read a whole series this year and wanted to include it on the list, my favourite book has been chosen to represent the whole series. Otherwise half the list would just be Harry Potter.
15: I AM THE MESSENGER - MARKUS ZUSAK
14: IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY - NED VIZZINI
Based off of Ned Vizzini's own experiences, It's kind of a funny story follows a teenage boy in a psychiatric ward for depression. It's honest and heartfelt and surprisingly hilarious for a book about mental illness, with memorably unique characters, a fascinating setting and a plot that deeply effected me. It's not necessarily an easy read, but it's a story that I think is really important and ultimately life affirming.
13: THE SWORD OF SUMMER - RICK RIORDAN
Told with Rick Riordan's signature humour and snappy writing style, the first book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series tells the story of a young boy who is sucked into a fantastical world of Norse gods, monsters and heroes. There are a lot of links to the Percy Jackson books, which I loved, but you absolutely don't need to read those to enjoy these books. It might not be a work of literary genius, but it sure is fun to read.
12: ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL - JESSE ANDREWS
I read this book in one sitting, and it was basically the definition of a emotional roller coaster. Jesse Andrews' story of a teenage filmmaker forced to befriend a girl dying of cancer is as hilarious as a cancer book could possibly be (seriously, I was laughing out loud every other page), but it's also honest and occasionally soul crushingly sad. I loved it.
11: AM I NORMAL YET? - HOLLY BOURNE
I've loved all of Holly Bourne's books thus far, but this one stood out because it was just so raw and realistic and it really opened my eyes to a topic I didn't know very much about before. It follows a girl with OCD and severe anxiety as she starts a new sixth form, and it's incredibly well written and moving and funny and relatable (even if you don't suffer from anxiety yourself). There's also some brilliant feminist themes and female friendships, which are so important to see, especially in YA. Please just read this.
10: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - HARPER LEE
I may be 50 years late to this bandwagon, but to kill a mockingbird definitely deserves all the hype it's gotten in the past half a century. It's a beautifully written, moving and timeless look at racism and growing up in the deep South of 1930s America, and I'm so glad that I finally got around to reading it this year. Go set a watchman, on the other hand...
9: THE HOUSE OF HADES - RICK RIORDAN
Congratulations to Rick Riordan for being the only author to appear on this list twice! I read and adored the whole Heroes of Olympus series this year, but this book was my favourite just because it was really interesting and I liked one of the settings a lot (no spoilers!). As always, Rick Riordan's writing is hilarious and fast paced, his characters are great and the stories interweave mythology with modern life in a really fun way. The Percy Jackson series was on my best books of 2014 list, but I liked The Heroes of Olympus even more.
8: ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES - JENNIFER NIVEN
This book broke me. I can't even think about it without getting emotional. It tells the story of two teenagers who fall in love after meeting at the top of a bell tower where they were both intending on committing suicide, and it's just as heartbreaking as you would guess from that description. It's also beautiful and well written, and the story and characters have really stuck with me ever since I read it.
7: ONE - SARAH CROSSAN
Oh look, it's another book that completely smashed my heart to pieces! One is about conjoined twins (a concept that I thought was really fascinating and unique) and is told in free verse, and it's probably one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Sarah Crossan's writing is incredible, and it's probably worth reading the book just for that. You can read my full review here!
6: EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING - NICOLA YOON
This book follows a girl who has been trapped inside her house for most of her life, which I thought was a super interesting premise and not one I'd seen before in a book. I liked the main character a lot, and the writing was gorgeous, but the main thing I loved was the romance. It was just so cute! You can read more about my thoughts in my full review.
5: SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA - BECKY ALBERTALLI
This. Book. Is. Adorable. It's also hilarious and honest and important and I wanted to be best friends with literally all of the characters. You can read more in my full (rave-y) review here!
4: THE IRON WARRIOR - JULIE KAGAWA
This is the last book in one of my all time favourite series, and it definitely didn't disappoint. It has just the right amount of action and heartache and character development, with a satisfyingly bittersweet conclusion. I just didn't want it to end! You can read my full review here!
3: CARRY ON - RAINBOW ROWELL
2015 seems to have been the year of adorable romances, and Carry On probably had my favourite one of all. Simon and Baz are THE CUTEST. I always love Rainbow Rowell's writing style and characters, and this was obviously no exception. I also thought the fantasy elements were really fun and the plot was very compelling. Basically, Rainbow is my queen and I love every word she writes.
2: A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC - V.E SCWAB
This book was just so magical and well written and...I've reached the point in this post where I've forgotten how to form sentences because the books are just that good. It has multiple versions of London, so of course I loved it! Also, GIVE ME A GATHERING OF SHADOWS RIGHT NOW.
1: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS - J.K. ROWLING
I did it! I finally read the Harry Potter series! It was AMAZING! I'd read up to the order of the Phoenix before, so even though goblet of fire is by far my favourite of the series deathly hallows was my favourite that I read for the first time this year. Did that make any sense? Anyway, this book destroyed me...I can't even...*sobs*
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you had a great reading year, and I'd love it if you told me what your favourite books were in the comments...